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A wide range of religions, philosophical and other beliefs (including a lack of certain beliefs) are capable of protection under discrimination law. You should not receive differential treatment because of these beliefs at any stage in the employment lifecycle. This can include discrimination as an applicant for a new role, during employment or at the end of employment if you are dismissed.
Some workplace practices clash with an employee’s religious belief such as a dress code or holiday policy. You may need to ask for these policies to be adjusted in your case to allow you to wear religious symbols at work, for example. A refusal to do so by your employer could amount to discrimination because of your religious belief.
You may need access to a prayer room at work and an equal opportunities employer should accommodate this.
Discrimination law covers perceived religious belief or religion even in the case of an incorrect perception or association with people who hold certain beliefs when you yourself do not.
The employment team at Vardags can advise you on the most appropriate action for you to take based on your situation, and ensure that you get the best possible outcome.
A failure to make adjustments for religious holidays or putting in place policies such as a requirement to work on certain religious holidays which unfairly disadvantages you amounts to discrimination because of religion or religious belief.
Employers can seek to justify their actions and claim that there is a legitimate aim behind their policy. The employment team at Vardags can advise you on whether your employer’s position is reasonable and in line with employment law.
Unless there is good reason, for example health and safety requirements, then your employer should not restrict you from wearing religious symbols at work.
It will be relevant if the symbol is not strictly required by your religion, for example in the case of a cross which is worn by personal preference if you are Christian. For most religious symbols such as hijabs, turbans or bangles, you should speak to your employer about making an exception to the dress code to accommodate you.
If your employer is not willing to make such an exception, or to make adjustments to the dress code as needed, then you should seek advice as soon as possible.
Not being considered for a promotion because of your age is age discrimination. This is a clear example of less favourable treatment because of your age.
In order to succeed in a claim for discrimination, you will need to put forward facts from which it can be presumed that there has been discrimination. An Employment Tribunal will usually seek to take a wide view as to what can be established from these facts whilst taking into account the employer’s version of events. Once such facts have been established, the burden is then on the employer to disprove the discrimination claimed.
The process of bringing a claim against an employer can involve the opportunity to ask questions and make disclosure requests in order to obtain further information in support of your claim. Evasive responses to these questions can lead to inferences of discrimination by an Employment Tribunal.
High quality legal advice at an early stage can make huge differences in case outcomes. It is essential to ensure the relevant facts are put forward clearly and robustly to achieve a tactical advantage and to put pressure on your employer from the outset.
The employment team at Vardags is well placed to draft employment claims which put you in the best position to win your claim or to achieve the best possible settlement.
If ageist comments are being made about you, you may have a claim for harassment which is a type of age discrimination. For example, if a comment is made that you are too old to get to grips with technology at work, this would amount to age discrimination.
All employers should promote an equal opportunities workplace. There should be a clear policy in place demonstrating a commitment to diversity at work.
A lack of diversity in the workplace could point to unconscious bias.
If you are pursuing a claim for race discrimination and your employer’s equal opportunities track record is poor or where your employer is only paying lip service to an equal opportunities policy, this could be relevant evidence for your case.
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